What have I learned? A lot. And nothing. I’ve learned that blogging is extremely time consuming. I’ve learned that, with my type of blog, it is very difficult to make an income. I’ve learned that writing can be therapeutic, and perhaps that was the point for me from the start.
I have not learned how to create the level of traffic I would like, while maintaining a full-time job and mothering two young children. I’ve learned that I have no idea which posts will be popular and which will not.
What have I accomplished? I’ve been asked to write for an online magazine, and I’ve been featured as a guest on a number of my peer’s blogs. I’ve managed to help some people by being open about my struggles with anxiety, the challenges of parenting, and facing aging as an older mother of young kids. I’ve made real friends and started my own blogging group. I’ve figured out how to share my personal experiences without sharing too much about the people close to me (I think. No one has expressed upset with anything I’ve shared anyway. Although . . . come to think of it, I have later deleted a couple of posts that seemed questionable . . . ).
Has it been worth it? Well, let’s think about what the cost has been. There is a financial cost to a blog. There is a time commitment. It’s definitely cost me hours of sleep over the last year. The writing part, while time consuming, is not as demanding as the promotion and networking. It’s cost me my peace if mind, at times.
What have I gained? Some confidence in my writing. I’ve been given some affirmation that sharing experiences and thoughts can be beneficial to others. I’ve learned that I am capable of creating something fresh, new and unique.
I’ve decided to renew the blog for another year. So, I guess that means I have determined it is worth it.
Am I any wiser? While I’m open to ideas and advice, I’ve found that not all advice works for everyone. I’ve learned to accept that what I write about is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s okay. In some ways, through trying different approaches and different positions, I’ve come full circle. My instinct from the start was that I had something worthwhile to offer, and I feel that’s proven to be true. So, perhaps, so far, this little adventure in blogging has simply confirmed what I already knew.